It is possible to use industrial lasers without enclosures!
However, in order to make them safe to use, personal protective equipment must be used (laser safety glasses) and access to the surrounding area needs to be controlled by interlocks or other means.
Special signage is required and other procedures must be implemented to enforce the laser-controlled area.
Lasers used for welding applications radiate inthe infrared spectra, which are not visible to the humaneye. The intensive fiber laser light radiate in the visible spectrum but invisible for humans, is especially dangerous to the eye. Fibre laser radiation penetrate through to the retina which can be destroyed irrevocably by relatively little radiation.
Misdirected laser radiation can come directly from the laser and threaten the eyes as a result of a faulty parameter setting, an opened cover, a displaced mirror etc. Other hazards include skin burn or inﬂammation from combustible materials as a result of misdirected laserradiation. The greatest hazard, however, usually stems from reﬂected laser radiation: the major share of the laser radiation is reﬂected by coldmaterial ﬁrst. To this we can add reﬂections of work piece edges, as a result of turbulence in the weld pool etc.
Misdirected radiation and reﬂections must be blocked off. That is why the law stipulates that the laser beam and the work zone must be in an enclosure. Beyond that, all those present, and the machine operators in particular, should wear protective goggles that are appropriate for the laser radiation being used. Fbre laser radiation are very dangerous to the eye and require special protective measures andapproved safety goggles.
Standard protective goggles made of glass or acrylic glass are not suitable at all,
as glass and acrylic glass allow ﬁbre laser radiation to pass through!
- Never point the laser beam at anyone’s eyes!
- Do not look directly into a laser beam!
- Always wear protection glasses!
- If the laser light accidentally strikes your eyes, close your eyes and immediately move your head out of the laser beam.
- Do not use any focusing optical device to look at the laser beam while working with lasers.
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Depending on the materials being welded, laser welding may generate fumes, altough much less than any other welding process, that are hazardous to health.
Therefore, it is important to always provide sufﬁcient extraction and fresh air.
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